News from the Churchill County School District

E.C. Best students show their graduation certificates from the Leveled Literacy Intervention program.

E.C. Best students show their graduation certificates from the Leveled Literacy Intervention program.

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Churchill County High School

Students in Anne Smith’s Outdoor Adventure class took a field trip to Sand Harbor State Park. They learned paddle boarding/kayaking safety and got to explore Lake Tahoe from the water.

 “It was a perfect day. Clearly Tahoe Adventure Company was awesome. Lauren and Josh were our instructors and they were patient, friendly, and very knowledgeable,” Smith said.

The outdoor adventure class is not your traditional PE course. Smith uses the curriculum from the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation to teach outdoor education and promote the conservation of nature and wildlife worldwide. Many topics are taught from survival, angler education, archery, camping, camp cooking, backpacking/hiking, orienteering, boating education, wildlife conservation and fauna.

This field trip was the culmination of the kayaking/paddle boarding unit. “We had it planned for earlier in the school year but the smoke from the fires postponed it so we are thankful we had a perfect fall day,” Smith said.

Churchill County Middle School

Advisory students participate in a kindness activity from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation every Wednesday. This month the focus was on caring about others. Students created a compassion wall where they shared how they show compassion.

“Our students are amazing and show compassion by giving kind compliments, being kind, showing gratitude, and helping others in need,” said Vice Principal Deana Porretta.

Students really enjoyed working on the compassion walls.

"It's a great way to learn more ways to be kind,” eighth-grader Angel Mendez said.

CCMS was awarded a Kindness Grant from the Choose Kindness Foundation during the 2021-22 school year. A supplemental grant was awarded for the 22-23 school year. This grant has allowed CCMS to enhance the PBIS program with lessons on Kindness. These lessons focus on the school-wide expectations of mutual respect, attentive listening, appreciation and kindness.


Students in Janine Mello’s class took a field trip to Fort Churchill as an extension of what they learned in the classroom about the geography of Nevada in social studies and weathering, erosion, and deposition in science. “

This field trip allowed students to connect their learning to the real world, which makes it more meaningful and exposes them to the rich history of our state,” Mello said.

Students got to make adobe bricks, tour the ruins, and also got to see different Nevada artifacts like gold, silver and tulle ducks.

“The ruins were so cool. I saw the office quarters, the hospital, the barracks, the bakery, and the mess hall,” said student Connor Magana.

Students experienced firsthand what life at the fort was like.

“I learned so much and liked making bricks and even got to try hard tack,” said student Cynorah Mitchell. “I also got to learn about the barracks, and about old ways to communicate like pony express and the telegraph. It was fun so people need to make sure to go to Fort Churchill.”

Churchill County Middle School advisory students participate in a kindness activity from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation every week.


E.C. Best

Many ECB Bulldogs graduated from the Leveled Literacy Intervention program last week. LLI is a powerful tool to help struggling readers and is a scientifically based system designed to prevent literacy difficulties.

“In our district, we have roughly 250 students who are serviced with LLI, which helps children enter the world of literacy and continue to expand their reading and writing abilities,” said teacher Linda Rassmussen.

Students take a well-selected sequence of texts home every night and learn fluency through poems, and direct word patterns to help them become successful readers.

“It is our goal to encourage students to gain enough skills to leave the program and rely on classroom instruction only,” Rassmussen said.

Student Oceanna Lopez moved four levels in LLI in five weeks and really enjoyed the program.

“Going to LLI was fun. I learned to not be afraid to read and I can now read hard words and words I didn’t know yet,” she added.


Families recently attended a pirate-themed Family Literacy Night and Book Fair. The purpose of Family Literacy Nights is to build a sense of community and provide a different way to engage children while developing their reading and writing skills in a setting aside from their regular classroom.

“At our Family Nights, parents are exposed to a variety of ways they can support their child's literacy development at home,” said Literary Specialist Katy Loop.

Pirate Family Literacy Night was the second Family Night Lahontan hosted this year. The staff loves opportunities to interact with students and their parents and have opportunities to provide them with additional tools that can be used at home to facilitate learning.

“The ultimate goal is to make reading, especially learning to read, fun for all, and sharing a variety of different ways to make reading fun is what we do at these Family Literacy Nights,” Loop said.

Numa students recently took a trip to Fort Churchill.



Students in Rhonda Maynes’ class are learning about pets and even got to make their own pets out of Play-Doh. Students then worked on their speech as they presented to the class about the animal they made. These activities are not only fun and educational but they also help these young students build their fine motor skills while covering the Pre-K curriculum.

“Learning about animals ties into science, then investigating and comparing their similarities and differences carries over into math concepts,” said Amanda Lister, a teacher on Special Assignment.


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